Over the summer maritime charities Seafarers UK and Cornwall Rural Community Charity (CRCC)…
Fisherman uses net to share life at sea
Tweeting Trawlerman Tweets From The Deep to Show Reality of Life as a Fisherman
A video showing a veteran fisherman who swapped monkfish for mobile has been produced to challenge myths around the UK fishing indusuty often spread by the media, environmental groups and celebrities. Trawlerman David Warwick posted everything he did for a day aboard his trawler on Twitter and answered questions from the public about life at sea proving the realities are oceans apart from the misconceptions peddled by some.
The initiative, dubbed ‘Tweets from the Deep’ and organised by the National Federation of Fishermans Organisations (NFFO), took place to mark National Fishing Month (19 July- 26 August) and raise awareness of the work fishermen are doing to be more environmentally friendly and sustainably aware while putting food on the nation’s plates.
Questions came from fishermen and members of the public across the country on a wide range of subjects. David commented: “The response to Tweets from the Deep was outstanding with questions coming on all the big issues from discards to marine protected areas as well as the more light-hearted topics such as what superstitions we have on board the boat and the most unusual things we’ve found in our nets.
“Villages and communities up and down the British coast rely on fishermen, as a source of food and income. To be tarred as ‘pillagers’ that don’t care about the future of fishing is ridiculous. Most of us are second or third generation, if not more, and we fish carefully and sustainably to ensure the future of our business. I have a two year old son who I hope will have the opportunity to make his living from the sea if that’s what he chooses, and that’s what my colleagues and I are working hard to protect.”
Recent findings show significant levels of recovery in many species including cod, haddock and lemon sole. Despite working closely with scientists to ensure the impact of their work is as minimised as possible, fishermen have often been victim to sensationalist attacks from some MPs, campaigning celebrities and the media.
On the initiative, Barrie Deas, Chief Executive of the NFFO commented: “David wanted to show the British public that fishermen aren’t the ‘pillagers of the seas’ they’re often portrayed to be and instead hoped to showcase what a life on the high seas is really like, as well as the practices used by the majority of the industry to fish in a safe, environmentally friendly and sustainable way. We had a high level of engagement on the day and hope the video will give those who couldn’t join in, an insight into what life at sea is really like.
“The fishing industry has made significant advances over the last ten years and sustainability is now at the heart of the way it operates. David’s social media posts gave a interesting glimpse into what a day at sea entails for fishermen and hopefully went some way to show the scale of how our fishermen are working to deliver this important, sustainable, traceable and healthy food source.”Since leaving school more than 25 years ago, David has earned a living as a fisherman. He built his own trawler and set up a commercial fishing business with his father in 1996. Today he sails from Cornwall in his 10.5m trawler Valhalla, catching mixed species including cod and haddock, whiting and lemon sole.
To recap Tweets from the Deep and read David’s answers to the public’s questions follow @NFFO_UK and search using #FishTales.